Bike Lane Progress on JFK, Bayshore, Cesar Chavez, and Cargo Way

SF Bike Coalition staffers enjoy the partially-completed JFK bikeway. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfbike/7048673373/in/photostream##SFBC/Flickr##

Bike network expansions are going in at a rapid clip so far this spring. In Golden Gate Park, parking-protected bike lanes on John F. Kennedy Drive are mostly finished on the stretch in front of the Conservatory of Flowers, and drivers already seem to be picking up on the new parking arrangement.

Progress on new bike lanes connecting eastern neighborhoods continues on Bayshore Boulevard, Eastern Cesar Chavez Street, and Cargo Way. Folsom Street in the Mission has also been re-paved, and the SFMTA said bike lanes should be striped there soon.

New buffered bike lanes are almost finished on Bayshore. Photos: Aaron Bialick

On Bayshore Boulevard, the SFMTA is striping buffered bike lanes similar to the recent Caltrans project on Sloat Boulevard, reclaiming a roughly 9-foot travel lane for bicycle traffic. In the coming weeks, the street markings should create a safer bicycling connection and calm traffic between Cesar Chavez at the 101 Highway south to Silver Avenue.

Buffered bike lanes on Eastern Cesar Chavez also passed a milestone this week after the SFMTA Board of Directors finally approved the safer bike lane plan for the Evans Street intersection. According to the SFMTA’s Livable Streets Facebook page, a water main break caused a delay in the construction, but it should be completed this month.

Eastern Cesar Chavez yesterday.
Cesar Chavez at Evans, where the newly approved plan will relieve bike commuters of having to merge with trucks.

On Cargo Way, a two-way bikeway project led by the Port of San Francisco is on its way to completion in May and will connect Hunter’s Point to bike lanes on Illinois Street. A fence separating the bikeway from motor traffic is starting to take shape.

A two-way bikeway under construction on Cargo Way.

Finally, here’s one more shot from JFK Drive. We’ll be keeping you posted on the city’s first parking-protected bikeway as it takes shape.

A bicyclist enters a "mixing zone." Photo: Aaron Bialick
  • Fran Taylor

    Check out the pathetic sidewalk in the top Cesar Chavez photo, on a stretch with no east-west Muni service. We still have a lot of work to do to make this area accessible to all. But the bike lanes are a welcome start.

  • J

    This is really exciting. Is it just me, or does the Cargo Way bike path look a bit narrow for two-way traffic, especially with a tall barrier on one side?

  • mikesonn

    Also, no sidewalk there either, it’ll require a lot of negotiating around other cyclists and potential pedestrians.

  • Anonymous

    Compounding the narrow width, the pavement is crap on the edge forcing cyclists on the curb side to ride more in the center. I’ve noticed this trend a lot where the 1.5 ft of concrete that is the curb and accompanying unevenness where it meets the asphalt, as well as gutters and drains, are a problem on cycletracks in SF. Plus, since there is no “shoulder” for the bike lane and also there is curb bounding it preventing debris from escaping, all the debris gets piled up in the 1.5 ft concrete/curb area, meaning that this area is essentially unrideable. The city needs to pave roads with cycle tracks better. and I really want to see the bike track elevated off the road at the same height as the sidewalk so that it doesn’t collect all the debris motorists blow onto it.

  • mikesonn

    Want to talk about pavement, look at that Bayshore bike lane.

  • Anonymous

    It’s really great to finally see cycletracks. We still can make these betters (like, in my comments below, about the current implementation of cycletracks collecting debris and having uneven pavement where the curb and drains are), but overall, this is huge progress. Once people start getting used to seeing cycletracks, even if only in GG Park where they aren’t needed as much as elsewhere, they will be much easier to roll out elsewhere …

    … and I’m looking at you Valencia St. This is the one street that I feel like is the elephant in the room. This street is the most bicycle-trafficked street in SF along with the Wiggle and Market St, yet rarely do people talk about putting a cycletrack on it (I know the SFBC has floated ideas, but it’s very half-hearted). And both these other routes have plans for cycletracks (though only in certain parts in the case of the Wiggle). But it’s high time Valencia got some attention again. There are just way too many people double-parking and way too many cyclists on Valencia for this not to be a top priority. We just need to get rid of that useless center lane and use the gained space for cycletracks and widened sidewalks. And I also think we should add bollards every other block so that all through traffic is removed from this street, and also make sure all intersections are properly daylighted and given bulb-outs. It’s just really frustrating to see such a prime cycling and pedestrian street pretty much ignored.

  • And I also think we should add bollards every other block so that all through traffic is removed from this street

    If you do that, just get rid of the bike lane altogether, and lower the speed limit to 15. Not the timing – the max speed. Bikes and cars share the lane. Widen the sidewalk 6 more feet. boom.

  • TL

    I’m excited about the Bayshore Blvd project, since the southeastern part of the city really lacks for safe cycling routes. Does anyone know if that route has been upgraded south of Silver Ave yet? I know there was talk of bike lanes/sharrows on San Bruno Ave, but I haven’t checked it recently. Cities have a tendency not to plan well for bike connections beyond their borders, as evidenced by the big gap on Bayshore in the attached map of the bike network expansion plan.

  • TL

    Valencia calls for some serious creativity, focusing on the greatest risks to people on bikes and pedestrians. A good start would be to ban left turns by automobiles anywhere on the street, and right turns on red, since those two maneuvers are major culprits in most crashes. Valencia should also be piloted for evening meters immediately, to avoid the double parking that occurs when parking occupancy is too high, another nuisance to cyclists. Finally, required right turns at 21st and 16th could be used to funnel drivers off the street and into the city garages at those locations.

  • Anonymous

    Given the fact that Valencia has had a lot of concrete poured recently, I don’t see anything happening in terms of widened sidewalks. The best idea I have seen, however, is the center-running two-way cycletrack, with soft-hit posts. Totally solves the problem of cars double-parking in the bike lane, while retaining all the parking and allowing for deliveries, etc. It’s even good for emergency vehicles, as bikes can easily merge out of the center track when something with sirens is coming through.

  • Anonymous

    Time will tell, but I rather like the two-way design. Yes, it could be wider, but it depends on traffic levels, and I don’t mind slowing down occasionally when passing. The pavement definitely needs improvement. It should be wide enough to allow for street-sweeping vehicle, which is a must.

    I think the separation from cars and trucks makes up for a lot of deficiencies.

  • Cargo Way looks more like a multi-use path, especially considering the sidewalk is useless. Thats not a bad thing. 

  • Rrothma

    What safety is there for pedestrian when bicyclist out hitting pedestrians. Time to license bike and bicyclist

  • J

    Many of the 2-way bike paths in Montreal and NYC are that narrow. They work ok during lighter use, but when lots of cyclists are out it can be a bit tight. It’s certainly harder to pass slower cyclists with narrow 2-way lanes like that. With such an incredibly large right-of-way, it seems that more could be done here, but I guess the large expense involved with moving curbs would need to be justified by high bike demand. In this area, that doesn’t seem likely anytime soon.

  • ubringliten

    I agree especially with the bars (feels like a prison though).  I think it would be better if they were to raise the bikeway by a couple of inches like what they do in Copenhagen.  This way, the bikes have flexibility have a way to weave out and back in if there’s an obstacle.

  • Cars and drivers are licensed. Last I checked that didn’t do much to stop drivers from slamming into cyclists and pedestrians.

  • Anonymous

    @baklazhan:disqus Adding a cycletrack on Valencia can be done separately from widening the sidewalks. By getting ride of the middle lane, that provides enough width for the cycletrack. I honest don’t have a strong opinion where they put the cycletrack (in the center or on the edges), but just that they do it. It’s just weird to me that such a heavily bike-trafficked (and pedestrian-trafficked) road is not given more attention.

  • justin

    Valencia no longer gets attention because the bike coalition and politicians apparently believe painting a bike lane is the pinnacle of bike-friendliness. I usually avoid it altogether because the double parking and right-turning cars make the bike lane more often blocked than open, and therefore dangerous. 

    I totally agree about bollards and through traffic — this is exactly what Berkeley does with great success. Valencia is the perfect candidate since Mission is one block over, and often seems empty of traffic while Valencia is packed. 

  • The black chainlink fencing is up now on Cargo Way.

  •  I don’t think I’ll have any problem passing the very occasional bike on Cargo Way, even if the group of joggers is out on the bike-path.  I never had any problem passing them out in the street with the mail and recycling trucks barreling down the road beside me.

  • Carl

    I ride JFK drive daily.  The new paint and traffic scheme is an ugly mess.  Ruined the best street that SF had to offer cyclists.

  • It’s no Dalewood Drive.

  • JayBizOh

    The bike lane on JFK is a shit storm. 

    1. Drivers and passengers walk right into the bike lane after parked.
    2. It makes passing slower cyclist impossible.
    3. Who thought it would be a good idea for tour buses to unload into a bike lane? Seriously?
    4.It makes passing slower cyclist impossible, Again yes. 
    5.With the bike lane being where it now, The lane floods when it rains, great.

    I’ve almost been hit a few times from people unloading and just walking into the lane already, and cars pulling in to park tend to slight swerve into the new lane also, making it very dangerous. The who JFK lane should be going back to the drawing board.  I dont see what the problem was before and why it needed to be changed. The streets are more than wide enough for motorist and cyclist. A bike lane would be nice, but one inside of the parked cars in a tourist area? I’d nominate that for the years stupidest idea.
     

  • peternatural

    I agree that the new configuration forces cyclists to go slower than before. Passing a slow rider is difficult in most places, and even without any slow riders, the path is a bit hazardous at higher speeds, since you never know when people will step out into the bike lane from the parking area. So for safety, you probably shouldn’t exceed 12-15 mph, whereas before you could comfortably go over 20 mph.

    From the “8 to 80” perspective, the arrangement doesn’t strike me as much safer for kids than previously. But probably not any more dangerous either.

    Having said that, I actually don’t mind it much. (Going fast isn’t my top priority.) I like the concept, but putting the parked cars so close to the bike lane increases danger. Maybe some liberally applied orange cones (or something) would help create more separation between the bike lane and the cars (parked or moving).

  • mikesonn

    @peternatural:disqus To see how much of a failure “liberally applied orange cones” are, swing by the ferry building.

  • peternatural

     “Or something”! 😉

  • Joshualeverburg

    I don’t know why they had to turn a bike lane on jfk into brain surgery but SF did it! Driving on that section of jfk is like taking a detour through a european traffic disaster. I pray that the mess the city made is cleaned up quick before someone gets injured.

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